Recipe: Key Lime Icebox Cupcakes

Recipe: Key Lime Icebox Cupcakes

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Meghan Splawn
May 4, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

See how darling these key lime cupcakes are? A cheesecake-meets-key-lime-pie filling makes these no-bake cuties the perfect light and refreshing dessert for a beautiful spring brunch or porch party.

The gingerbread cookie crust brings the zing to these tangy, tart, and creamy key lime pie minis. Topped with a lightly sweetened sour cream mixture and an optional candy lime wedge, these single-serve desserts are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy. Let's take a little virtual key lime vacation, shall we?

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Power of No-Bake Cheesecake

This recipe is based on our no-bake cheesecake filling, a mixture of cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk that sets to semi-soft in the fridge. By adding both the zest and juice from key limes, the filling becomes even brighter, tangier, and more vibrant.

The typical graham cracker crust here is replaced with a gingersnap crust. Look for dry, snappy ginger cookies for making the crust and be sure to chill the crust while you make this filling.

You can serve these icebox cupcakes straight-up or really gild the lily by whipping sour cream with a bit of brown sugar for a less-sweet alternative to whipped cream.

Key Lime Icebox Cupcakes

Makes 12

For the crust:
5 ounces gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (7 ounces)
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
6 tablespoons key lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 candy lime slices (optional)

Make the crust: Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Place the cookies, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse into even crumbs, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse to incorporate. The mixture should hold together in your hand when you squeeze it.

Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin wells, about 2 tablespoons per well. Use the bottom of a small glass to press the crumbs firmly into the pan to form the crusts. Place in the freezer until ready to fill.

Make the filling: Place the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and juice, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until smooth. Divide the filling evenly among the muffin cups. Refrigerate until firm, 8 to 12 hours.

Make the topping: When ready to serve, place the sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Top each key lime icebox cupcake with a dollop of sweetened sour cream and a candy lime slices if using.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The gingersnap crumb crust can be made 3 days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, although the crust may soften over time.
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